Our Neighbourhoods Survey and City stats prove it — we love our pools, rinks and gyms more than ever
By Steven Sandor | October 11, 2023
Sometimes, when you’re right, you’re right.
Not that we’re bragging — OK, maybe we are, kind of. Our July/August Neighbourhoods section focused on how much recreation centres and sports fields, rinks and pools, mean to a community. Experts in real estate and development told us that they’re major drivers when it comes to building values in homes. The closer you are to a great rec centre, the more value you will be able to get for your home.
We also featured a Neighbourhoods survey on our website. The results are in, and the majority of you are totally with us when it comes to the need for great rec facilities in our communities; of the nearly 300 of you who responded, the overwhelming majority told us that having a rec centre close by is one of the main things you look for in a neighbourhood in which you want to live — or already call home.
In our survey, the rec centre was identified as a key piece of the neighbourhood by more than 70 per cent of the respondents. That’s an overwhelming majority.
We know from the City budget in 2023 that revenues from “memberships and admissions” is $7.7 million more than forecast, so it shows we’re coming out to enjoy our pools, rinks, gyms and City-owned attractions at a rate much higher than expected.
We asked the City for some hard numbers, and here they are:
So far, and we still have three months to go till year-end, and the City has recorded 3,360,228 visits to “recreation and leisure centres.” In 2019, the City had a total of 3,531,308 rec centre visitors. The City is using 2019 as the most recent apples-to-apples, comparable year, because 2020-22 attendances were all impacted by COVID.
The City had a free-trial week in May, and 1,900 people took advantage of the complimentary seven-day rec-centre membership.
And, memberships are already up — 22,914 active memberships in 2023, compared to 21,906 for the same time period in 2019.